Friday, January 3, 2014

Protesters hit by govt. forces (or gunfire) in Turkey, Cambodia, and Syria

Whatever role the Gulen movement may be playing in the current Turkish political chaos, the government has picked its new scapegoats in last year's Gezi Park protests:
Prosecutors in Turkey have charged 36 people with terrorism in connection with massive anti-government protests that rocked the country last year.

According to the indictment published on Friday, the suspects face a range of charges including membership in a terrorist organization, illegal possession of hazardous material, and terrorist propaganda.

"Protests that began in May went beyond a democratic reaction and turned into propaganda and demonstration outlets of terrorist organizations with the guidance of marginal groups," read the document.

"As a result, public property was destroyed, civil servants were incapacitated and security forces were injured," it added.

The defendants will face up to 58 years in prison if convicted.
Meanwhile, Cambodian soliders have already killed 3 protesters amid a nationwide garment workers strike for higher wages:
The violence came after weeks of escalating political and labor unrest marked by a series of opposition-led antigovernment protests and a nationwide strike that has stalled Cambodia's mainstay garment industry. Activists worry that the shootings could signal the government's growing propensity to use deadly force against its opponents, amid what political analysts say is Prime Minister Hun Sen's toughest political challenge in more than a decade.

At about 10 a.m. local time Friday, military police armed with assault rifles opened fire on several hundred workers who were blocking a road on the southern fringe of the capital, Phnom Penh, after the protesters started hurling objects at officers, police officials said.

Chuon Narin, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, confirmed the death toll of three and blamed "gangsters" and "anarchists" for instigating "violence toward the police," saying "Police are trying to defend themselves."
In Syria, the ever-increasing Islamist factionalization has spurred its own protests (and reactionary gunfire):
Many of the signs and banners held up by protesters referred to abuses by the fundamentalist militants, including the torture and execution of Hussein Suleiman, a prominent activist doctor in the Aleppo area who used the name Abu Rayan. According to the Activists News Association, an opposition media network founded by the British-Syrian blogger Rami Jarrah, who writes as Alexander Page, a placard held up at a protest in Aleppo decried both the killing of Abu Rayan by ISIS and the murder of another doctor blamed on government forces.

Video posted online by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group based in Britain with a network of activists inside Syria, was said to show protesters marching in Aleppo on Friday, chanting that President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamist rebel militia were both enemies of their revolution.


The same group reported on Facebook that a second clip recorded later showed “the moment demonstrators were fired upon by ISIS” as the militants attempted to disperse the protesters.
So much for 2014 being off to a fresh, hopeful start.

UPDATED: Looks like Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood protesters are getting killed, too:
One protester was killed in Cairo's Nasr City district, where demonstrators threw rocks and fireworks at police, who responded by firing tear gas, according to Ahram Online.

Two protesters were fatally shot in clashes in the northern Egyptian city of Ismailia, about 125 kilometers (78 miles) northeast of the capital, Cairo, Ahram Online reported.

One person was killed in Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, and another was killed in Alexandria, the news outlet reported. In Alexandria -- Egypt's second-largest city, 175 kilometers (109 miles) northwest of Cairo -- police intervened after Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with civilian opponents, Ahram Online reported.

The deaths come two days after the country's Interior Ministry said at least two demonstrators were killed in Wednesday clashes with security forces in Alexandria.

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